Migraine doctor is suspended for serious breach of professional standards

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 20 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h982
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

Andrew Dowson, a leading migraine specialist, has been suspended from the UK medical register for four months for a “serious breach of professional standards” in the conduct of a clinical trial.

Dowson, director of headache services at King’s College Hospital in London, was co-principal investigator with Peter Wilmshurst, a cardiologist, in the Migraine Intervention with STARFlex Technology (MIST) trial to test whether a new device for closing patent foramen ovale could cure migraine.1

After casting doubt on the accuracy of the trial’s results Wilmshurst was sued by the device’s US based manufacturer, NMT Medical, in a notable libel case, which was eventually abandoned when the company went into liquidation and which helped to bring about reforms to English defamation law.

A panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found that …

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